It’s been a year or so since eating here but if you are looking for an intimate yet casual Kyoto eatery with a truly local vibe it would be hard to go past this Yakitori joint on Kawabata street – above Shijo street and close to the Cacao Market. Here’s a link to Uzuraya and if you are having trouble finding it look for the red and white lantern as per the image below (left hand side) and enter through the noren (split curtain) .
And yes, that is raw chicken — Flesh, Heart, liver etc. And yes, it was truly special. I’ve eaten raw chicken in Japan on more than a few occasions ( but only ever from chicken specialist restaurants – never at a cheap and cheerful as you just can’t be sure of the freshness or origin of the chook) and this was excellent – in particular the liver which while creamy in flavour, like the lightest chicken liver mousse, it was silken in texture and so clean tasting – there was no doubt in my mind that this chicken had not only been very recently killed but that it was raised with love and great care. This dish was the highlight of the meal for me. The yakitori was very decent but not the best to be had in Kyoto. It’s more the vibe you come for.
It is counter seating only – for around 10 people so it is nice and cosy and you are guaranteed an excellent view of the grill. Sitting like this also gave us the opportunity to chat with the chefs and their local clientele who were clearly intrigued and possibly amused by us being there. I believe the owner does speak some English and the menu is also translated if you need it.
Rare breast with yuzu kosho
Grilled lotus root with karashi – spicy Japanese mustard
Grilled Enringi (also known as King brown mushrooms) with sudachi lime to squeeze over
Snappy little salad of radish varieties, grilled carrot, tomatoes and cucumber
Tsukune – minced chicken style yakitori
Tebasaki – grilled wing
Fresh tofu with olive oil. Really interesting homemade sausage with mustard.
Chicken mince patty filled with foie gras – I felt the foie gras was a little lost in this dish but it certainly made for a delicious rissole 😉
Nanohana (canola greens) with good ol Kewpie Mayonnaise.
We really enjoyed the laid back atmosphere and chatting with the locals but be warned – they do allow smoking in the restaurant. Although our neighbour was quite considerate and only smoked when we weren’t actually eating. I love the fact you can enjoy a nice glass of wine with your Yakitori meal too.